Although DIY home security cameras can seem interchangeable, no model is suitable for every need. It’s a fact D-link has capitalized on by offering an array of models, from basic nanny cams to serious surveillance models to weatherproof cameras for outdoor monitoring. It recently expanded its offerings with the DCS-5030L HD Pan & Tilt Wi-Fi Camera, aimed at users with big rooms or active kids and pets to keep an eye on. It’s not the most attractive camera we’ve seen, but what it lacks on looks it makes up for in features.
What you get
With its bulky dome shape, circle of lights, and prominent antenna, the DCS-5030L resembles something out of a 1950s space-art poster. Its wide base allows you to set it on any flat surface without worrying it will tip over. You can also give it a more permanent spot on your ceiling with the included mounting bracket. In either case, it’s going to be pretty conspicuous; this isn’t a camera that blends easily with home decor.
The camera has a 110-degree field of view and is ringed with 10 LEDs that provide up to 16-feet of night vision in complete darkness. It can cover even more area when you use its pan-and-tilt feature. This is controlled with the mydlink Lite companion app and provides up to 340 degrees of pan and 120 degrees of tilt.
With the DCS-5030L, you can opt to record 720p video continuously, on a schedule, or only when sound or motion is detected. As with all of D-Link’s DIY security cameras, video is recorded locally to a microSD/SDXC card (up to 128GB; no card is included). D-link boasts this saves you the cost of a monthly or annual cloud subscription, which is true enough, but it also carries the risk that if a burglar takes the camera or the card, you’ll lose all forensic evidence of the break-in.
Setup and usage
If you have a D-Link cloud router, you’ll be ahead of the game when it comes time to set up the DCS-5030L. You just press the WPS button on the camera, then on your router, and it will automatically assign your network settings to the camera.
Even without a D-Link cloud router—as I was—setting up the DCS-5030L is fairly painless. You can connect it to your network wirelessly or with the provided ethernet cable. The mydlink Lite app walks you through the steps for either method, and the whole process can be done in less than five minutes.
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